Irritable Bowel Syndrome – A Detailed Outlook


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder resulting in severe abdominal pain, bloating and change in bowel movement. This disorder starts during adulthood and the first symptoms can occur between the age of 25 and 40. Though there are no reasons on what causes IBS except that it is associated with digestive system. Eating high fat food and psychological factors trigger IBS. There are many medicines and natural remedies for IBS available. Regular use of antibiotics, non-steroidal and anti-inflammation drugs can cause more harm than good. The pain is the result of contractions of muscles in the walls of the bowel or inflammation inside the bowel and you can get complete IB S relief if you follow healthy diet and life style.

Symptoms of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is associated with extreme abdominal cramping especially in the lower abdomen particularly in the left hand side. Some may have mild pain and yet others severe pain depending on the intensity of the complication. The pain increases with what you eat. Diarrhea and constipation are symptoms of this disorder and most of the time you may feel a bloating sensation. These symptoms are associated with IBS but it is difficult to diagnose the syndrome based on these evidences alone.

Since Irritable Bowel Syndrome is relatively a digestive disorder it is associated with indigestion, headache, back pain, depression, fatigue, sleep disorder, nausea, among others. Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects the large intestine but the good thing about this is that it does not harm the intestines.

Diagnosing IBS

Symptoms may come and go but with these symptoms alone one cannot be diagnosed for IBS. Most of them visit the doctor only when the pain aggravates or when there is difficulty in swallowing, weight loss, bleeding in the anus and painless diarrhea. During the consultation your bowel behavior is analyzed. After this certain tests are prescribed but these tests do not confirm IBS. Blood test, stool sampling test, X-Rays, sigmoidoscopy, gastroscopy, ultrasound and colonoscopy are conducted to come to a conclusion on the disorder.

Treatment of IBS

Diet

There are no prescribed treatment methods to control IBS. With the help of change in eating habits and lifestyle changes IBS symptoms can be eradicated. Self help is the best means to control this syndrome. Diet plays an important role in controlling this disorder. Eating at regular intervals, intake of fluids especially fresh fruit and vegetable juice can help improve the condition. Avoid intake of alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee and aerated drinks. Intake of fibre rich food can help a great deal but avoid intake of insoluble fibre like whole meal bread, cereals and wholegrain rice, this can cause bloating. Cut on processed food, starch rich food can delay the digestive process causing abdominal pain. Linseed is a natural remedy for treating bloating symptom. Eat fruits and vegetables when hungry between meals and cut down on fatty or high calorie snacks.

Exercise

To improve your bowel movement regular exercise can help. Simple exercise like walking or jogging for about 30 minutes everyday can help. Sometimes IBS can be triggered due to stress. Yoga is the best remedy for stress and these techniques can help a great deal.

Medicines for IBS

There are no prescribed medicines for IBS. Depending on the symptoms medicines can vary. Use of antispasmodics like Spasmonal, Colofac and Buscopan can provide relief from abdominal cramps. To get relief from constipation bulk laxatives and stimulant laxatives can be used. Fybogel mebeverine can help in constipation and stomach cramps. Stomach rumbling and gas issues can be set right by use of charcoal tablets and anti foaming agent. To ease diarrhea Antidiarrhoeals can be administered. Colestyramine can be tried in small portions to treat diarrhea. To get rid of symptoms of IBS, probiotics, beneficial bacteria and yeasts are tried. Painkiller does not help controlling the symptoms though paracetamol can be tried if pain is unbearable. All the medicines need to be prescribed by qualified physician and as far as possible avoid over the counter drugs.

Natural remedies for IBS

The age old treatment for getting immediate relief from abdominal pain is pepper mint oil. It can control bloating by blocking calcium movement into the muscle cells in the intestines. It is a carminative herb and can be used to ease out excess gas from the intestine. Peppermint is available in many forms, the best is in the form of enteric coated capsule. Proper dosage has to be administered to prevent nausea, heart burns, loss of appetite, etc. Avoid using peppermint oil with cyclosporine. It is best to sought medical advice before using the herb.

Probiotics is a natural treatment for IBS. Probiotics are microbial organisms found in the digestive tract. They are termed as friendly bacteria and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria thereby improving the immune system. Intake of Probiotics can help produce Vitamin K that acts as protective barrier of the digestive tract. Probiotic strains like lactobacillus salivarius, bifidobacterium infantis, or a placebo have proven effect on patient suffering from IBS.

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum (PHGG) is a non gel fibre that is soluble in water and can help control constipation and stomach pain caused due to IBS. It helps increase friendly bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestines.

Prevention of IBS

There are well defined strategies to prevent IBS. Since it is a digestive disorder improving the food habits, following healthy diet and exercise can help. Certain factors that trigger attacks are irregular food habits, stress and high fat food. Research reveals that gut infection and food poisoning are causes for IBS. Including fibre diet can prevent IBS. Never take large meals at the end of the day, begin your day with sumptuous meal. Leading a stress free life can help manage IBS.

Remember that it is a chronic disorder and can occur and recur at any time. It can paralyze your work and social life. A qualified health care provider can assist in controlling the symptoms.

Healthy lifestyle and timely eating habits can provide great IBS relief. Expert assistance from doctors and therapists can help when it comes to controlling symptoms of IBS. Natural remedies for IBS are also helpful in treating this health condition effectively. Remember that IBS is not a life threatening disease nor it leads to any serious intestinal diseases.

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